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 Post subject: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:33 pm
Posts: 2
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Maybe I got too many companies coming out to give me a demo on their brand because now my head is spinning! And I'm trying to make a decision by the end of this weekend when my bank's Same-as-Cash promo ends. I'm in the northern part of Ohio for climate reference.

So here's my dilemma: five companies narrowed down to three. (Sears is nixed since they thought "U-factor" is a new term and had no clue what it meant. Air-Tite was nixed because he thought his product had a U-factor of 4.10. And actually, both were nixed for more reasons; these were just the comical ones.)

My windows are on a near-100 year old home. One seems to be the original with a very wide and shorter than usual shape, currently with an old triple-track (maybe triple-track; I'm a layman at this). The other window I'd like to replace is more of a standard size, also with an old triple-track. First, I'm curious to everyone's opinion of replacing the entire window opposed to only replacing/installing triple-tracks, especially on an older home.

Second, I'd like to hear people's opinions of Renewal by Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco windows. I was only shown one model of each, so I don't know if they have more. But here's my notes:

I really liked the Renewal by Anderson's look with the faux-wood look until I read quite a few complaints about water leaks, faux-wood and/or paint coming off, etc. But maybe that's old news and they've fixed there ways?

Renewal by Anderson:
$2178 (large window = slider + picture + slider) full frame/insert
$1128 (standard double-hung) full frame/insert
Low-E4 with Argon + Nitrogen in between two glass panes (space = 1/2" to 3/8")
U-Factor: 0.03 (maybe he meant 0.3?)
SHGC: 0.34
Air-filled frame is fusion welded; window frame itself is not; made of their special material; stainless steel spacer between glass panes

Champion:
$2099 (standard double-hung AND large window = slider + picture + slider)
or $2699 (standard double-hung AND large double hung + picture + double hung)
Comfort 365 glass (better than low-e); Argon filled between two glass panes (space = 3/4")
U-Factor: 0.29
VT (visible transmittance): 0.58
SHGC: 0.34
U-shaped sill to help block wind
Vinyl window; frame fusion welded; polyurethane filled; wool + mylar (non-metal) spacers between glass panes

Larmco:
$2946 (standard double-hung AND large window = slider + picture + slider)
or $3867 (standard double-hung AND large double hung + picture + double hung)
Ultra Solar S model, triple pained glass; frame fusion welded
(lost some notes, so the following is from their website)
U-Value: 0.12 (what's the difference between value and factor?)
SHGC: 0.24
Argon gas filled between three panes of glass with 'Super Spacers'.
(I thought triple pains overdo it, but if it's the only thing they offer...?)


So what's your thoughts, suggestions, opinions? Which of the three have you heard the best about, or what are some horror stories about them? Would you attempt to fill cracks with insulation between the window and the wall before replacing?

I started to like Champion's quality after reading some problems with Anderson, but Larmco wants to come out Saturday to make me an offer hard to refuse. (He said they had some production issues, implying they need to catch up, maybe over-stock. I had to laugh since it sounds very similar to a 'story' I read on here dated several years ago! But if they're good quality...)

Thanks all, I really appreciate good opinions!


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:46 pm 
Thanks once again for listing the obvious choice.
Champion.
Factory direct.
No fuss warranty.
top of the line U factor rating (for the entire opening, not just center of glass u factor).
Better price.
However,...in your application,..the windows are probably going to outperform your walls.....100 year old farmhouse....your walls need to be upgraded. Champion does insulated siding too,..and I do package deals all the time. Double backed you will gain no less than 7.18 R factor in yoru walls. Then you can appreciate what those windows will do for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:33 pm
Posts: 2
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ALPRO wrote:
Thanks once again for listing the obvious choice.
Champion.
Factory direct.
No fuss warranty.
top of the line U factor rating (for the entire opening, not just center of glass u factor).
Better price.
However,...in your application,..the windows are probably going to outperform your walls.....100 year old farmhouse....your walls need to be upgraded. Champion does insulated siding too,..and I do package deals all the time. Double backed you will gain no less than 7.18 R factor in yoru walls. Then you can appreciate what those windows will do for you.


A lot of this sounds more like a sales pitch, no offense, especially when the u-factor isn't top of the line but still pretty good. Champion's product seemed a step up from the others, but their warranty a step down from Larmco's. All three seemed to have their pros and cons not making this an obvious choice, not to me at least. Without all the sales hype, I was hoping to read about others' experience with each brand, good or bad. I have Larmco wanting to come out again tomorrow, probably to offer some incentive to buy from them. They might get my attention if their price does drop to be comparable to the lowest-price Champion. (Does the saying hold true, you get what you pay for, when Champion is the least expensive?)


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:52 am 
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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ALPRO wrote:
Thanks once again for listing the obvious choice.
Champion.
Factory direct.
No fuss warranty.
top of the line U factor rating (for the entire opening, not just center of glass u factor).
Better price.
However,...in your application,..the windows are probably going to outperform your walls.....100 year old farmhouse....your walls need to be upgraded. Champion does insulated siding too,..and I do package deals all the time. Double backed you will gain no less than 7.18 R factor in yoru walls. Then you can appreciate what those windows will do for you.


Cough....BS....cough....spam. :roll:

I love that little regurgitated blurb about adding 7.18R factor to your walls. Not only are you regurgitating the wrong terms, but you value of 7.18 is completely bogus. No foam back siding in the world will actually perform to the level that they quote and you are never going to see that increase in R-value.

Any other misinformation you want to disseminate? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:44 am 
Adding Champion siding to any wall with the proprietary backer will add 3.9 R,...umm,...what is 3.9 x 2? Oops,...7.8,..I made a mistake , possibly a type-o.

I'm amused at the disgruntle personal responses to hard scientific facts I have stated.

The original poster listed the criterion, and asked for advice. A salesman would sell someone an overperforming window for a fenestration regardless of the wall R value. A hundred year old farmhouse stick framed wall doesen't need a high performance window installed in it,.the homeowner needs better insulated walls FIRST.
Perscription for a high-tech window in this case is malpractice because the walls constitute the vast majority of the thermal barrier.

For the record, Champion siding is not "foam backed". The structure is wrapped in a proprietary polystyrene backer board consisting of a double vapor barrier one of which has a reflective coating much like a mylar foil, joints taped, corners double wrapped with a vapor barrier and foam backer,..THEN the siding is applied over this substrate.

*to the homeowner; Insulate your walls first,..then deal with the windows.

Does that sound like a window "sales pitch"? Not. That is responsible business advice addressing the MAJOR issue,...not the "little hole where the windows go".


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:57 am 
A lot of this sounds more like a sales pitch, no offense, especially when the u-factor isn't top of the line but still pretty good. Champion's product seemed a step up from the others, but their warranty a step down from Larmco's. All three seemed to have their pros and cons not making this an obvious choice, not to me at least. Without all the sales hype, I was hoping to read about others' experience with each brand, good or bad. I have Larmco wanting to come out again tomorrow, probably to offer some incentive to buy from them. They might get my attention if their price does drop to be comparable to the lowest-price Champion. (Does the saying hold true, you get what you pay for, when Champion is the least expensive?)[/quote]

Sir or madam,...how many personal refernces would you care for?
here's one I have permission to quote, that was givien with real worl numbers on 11/22/08, and I quote;
"Dear Champion Windows:
We had total window replacement done this past summer. We are so totally pleased with your product. Not only did it reduce the summer heat coming into the house, it now reduces greatly the heat escaping during the fall months. This alone is great. But the windows have also reduced the amount of dust that comes into the house, which saves on housework. Now that heating is used more frequently our utility bills are seeing great savings- last gas bill was $28.00 down from $50.00. We have equivalent savings on electric $63.00 down from $90.00+. I would be glad to recommend your company to anyone contemplating window replacement. Also- your glass cleaner is wonderful!
Kathryn Sweeny
Gahanna, Ohio."

At my fingertips, I have literally thousands of testimonials more or less to the same effect as the one above. This woman and her husband just stopped in to get some glass cleaner on their Saturday errands and was more than willing to handwrite the above letter simply for me asking what her real world numbers were.

As for warranty. I am unaware of anything better than a lifetime warranty. "Lifetime" in Ohio is legally 7 years, but, Champion doesn't stipulate that,...we stipulate, "as long as you own your home,..plus 1"
ANY Factory showroom will be glad to give you a copy of the printed warranty.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3590
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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ALPRO wrote:
Adding Champion siding to any wall with the proprietary backer will add 3.9 R,...umm,...what is 3.9 x 2? Oops,...7.8,..I made a mistake , possibly a type-o.

I'm amused at the disgruntle personal responses to hard scientific facts I have stated.

The original poster listed the criterion, and asked for advice. A salesman would sell someone an overperforming window for a fenestration regardless of the wall R value. A hundred year old farmhouse stick framed wall doesen't need a high performance window installed in it,.the homeowner needs better insulated walls FIRST.
Perscription for a high-tech window in this case is malpractice because the walls constitute the vast majority of the thermal barrier.

For the record, Champion siding is not "foam backed". The structure is wrapped in a proprietary polystyrene backer board consisting of a double vapor barrier one of which has a reflective coating much like a mylar foil, joints taped, corners double wrapped with a vapor barrier and foam backer,..THEN the siding is applied over this substrate.

*to the homeowner; Insulate your walls first,..then deal with the windows.

Does that sound like a window "sales pitch"? Not. That is responsible business advice addressing the MAJOR issue,...not the "little hole where the windows go".


What is Champion's "proprietary" backer made of? What type of foam is being used in this application?

Explain to me again why you were able to double the R-value increase from 3.9 to 7.8? Are you applying two layers of foam?

How does Champion account for any imperfections in the building sheathing and the lack of perfect contact with the foam insulation in those situations? Would you like to clarify what the insulation value of the foam board is in those areas where there is not direct contact? Any insulators effectiveness is only as good as the intimate contact that it has with the substrate that it is trying to insulate.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: Northern,Virginia
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What a bunch of balony. Champion uses CraneBoard which has an R-value of between 2.4 and 4.0 and is installed by sub-contractors.

Here are the specs on CraneBoard.

http://www.cranesiding.com/ASSETS/E8F73F3C9E5047D08C3449BAED9428D2/3rd_party_tests.pdf

Don't misunderstand, for the person who is looking for the best siding out there, CraneBoard is a definite contender. But, lets be realistic about the numbers unless you are claiming Champion uses 2 layers of insulation in which case that's another issue we can discuss.


You might also do a little research on you own instead of basing all your knowledge on the company literature. If you did, you would also discover that one window to fit all needs isn't serving your customers best interests. Start out by understanding which areas of the country are better served with a higher U-Factor if it means a greater SHGC and you will be on the way to becoming an industry proffesional instead of a pitchman toeing the Champion Company line.

Lastly, I am still laughing at the fact that Champion is still using 1980's window design with their U-shaped sill.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:57 pm 
this complaint you interestingly left out of your retort....i wonder why?
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complain ... 16492.html

It seems, that this homeowner has listened to someone other than a reputable person with regards to how heat is transmitted. Akin to the claims about "crane board" and the R-factor spewwed. 3/8" Champion foam backer board (that says "Champion" all over it) has an R-Factor of 3.9 (also printed right under teh Champion logo across the boards)

The original poster asked for advice choosing a window. Champion was reasonably priced by thier own admission. The "competitor" is sold thru a dealer,...which I searched for the warranty on the manufactures site and could find NONE. Why would a manufaturer list all the benifits and options yet skip thier warranty? LOL,..we all know why...it isn't important to them.
Competent advice would be to insulate the 100 year old walls BEFORE doing windows.
Common sense dictates that a dealer has a middleman markup,..and explains the 400 dollar expense over a factory direct pricing structure.
Another post on the "complaint board" noted that the BBB is the authority that should be trusted with regards to contractual and consumer complaints. Just as mis-information could be disseminated here, I have repeateedly suggested that whatever the OP chooses, the literature should be copywrighted and on company backed printing. Like the Backer board....Trademarked and specs listed right on every piece several times. Anyone could test it and know where it came from.

dealerships come and go.
The BBB Torch award is given for Ethics in the industry. Care to Guess who has earnned that?
The GoodHousekeeping seal was also earnned by one of the above bidders....which one do you think has it?
LOL

To the OP....good luck making your descision. This disgruntle rube is throwing a smokescreen up in fromt of you for some reason, cause with a visit to any of the bidders websites you can check all the facts yourself.
Comfort 365 glass is not an "80's technology"...it's state of the art, and if Champion upgrades thier ONLY glazing, guess what happens if you have a seal failure in the future? YOU get the upgrade when Champion honors thier warranty. Simplicity....isn't it refreshing? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:25 pm 
kcsamerica wrote:
Maybe I got too many companies coming out to give me a demo on their brand because now my head is spinning! And I'm trying to make a decision by the end of this weekend when my bank's Same-as-Cash promo ends. I'm in the northern part of Ohio for climate reference.

So here's my dilemma: five companies narrowed down to three. (Sears is nixed since they thought "U-factor" is a new term and had no clue what it meant. Air-Tite was nixed because he thought his product had a U-factor of 4.10. And actually, both were nixed for more reasons; these were just the comical ones.)

My windows are on a near-100 year old home. One seems to be the original with a very wide and shorter than usual shape, currently with an old triple-track (maybe triple-track; I'm a layman at this). The other window I'd like to replace is more of a standard size, also with an old triple-track. First, I'm curious to everyone's opinion of replacing the entire window opposed to only replacing/installing triple-tracks, especially on an older home.

Second, I'd like to hear people's opinions of Renewal by Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco windows. I was only shown one model of each, so I don't know if they have more. But here's my notes:

I really liked the Renewal by Anderson's look with the faux-wood look until I read quite a few complaints about water leaks, faux-wood and/or paint coming off, etc. But maybe that's old news and they've fixed there ways?

Renewal by Anderson:
$2178 (large window = slider + picture + slider) full frame/insert
$1128 (standard double-hung) full frame/insert
Low-E4 with Argon + Nitrogen in between two glass panes (space = 1/2" to 3/8")
U-Factor: 0.03 (maybe he meant 0.3?)
SHGC: 0.34
Air-filled frame is fusion welded; window frame itself is not; made of their special material; stainless steel spacer between glass panes

Champion:
$2099 (standard double-hung AND large window = slider + picture + slider)
or $2699 (standard double-hung AND large double hung + picture + double hung)
Comfort 365 glass (better than low-e); Argon filled between two glass panes (space = 3/4")
U-Factor: 0.29
VT (visible transmittance): 0.58
SHGC: 0.34
U-shaped sill to help block wind
Vinyl window; frame fusion welded; polyurethane filled; wool + mylar (non-metal) spacers between glass panes

Larmco:
$2946 (standard double-hung AND large window = slider + picture + slider)
or $3867 (standard double-hung AND large double hung + picture + double hung)
Ultra Solar S model, triple pained glass; frame fusion welded
(lost some notes, so the following is from their website)
U-Value: 0.12 (what's the difference between value and factor?)
SHGC: 0.24
Argon gas filled between three panes of glass with 'Super Spacers'.
(I thought triple pains overdo it, but if it's the only thing they offer...?)


So what's your thoughts, suggestions, opinions? Which of the three have you heard the best about, or what are some horror stories about them? Would you attempt to fill cracks with insulation between the window and the wall before replacing?

I started to like Champion's quality after reading some problems with Anderson, but Larmco wants to come out Saturday to make me an offer hard to refuse. (He said they had some production issues, implying they need to catch up, maybe over-stock. I had to laugh since it sounds very similar to a 'story' I read on here dated several years ago! But if they're good quality...)

Thanks all, I really appreciate good opinions!


That Larmco .12 U-value is spectacular! Watch how they undermine it with thier own installation methods cramming fibergalss insulation in the gaps around the unit. Expandable foam agents are industry standard for this application because they seal the hole completely. ANYONE that understands insulation will admit that in order for the insualtor to be effective it must not be compressed This is why building codes require a thickness/depth of cavity when secifying required R-Value in a specific application. If your farmhouse were to be built new, the exterior walls would be a minimum requirement of R-12, and in many municipalities they are requiring even higher R-Values for exterior walls. http://www.larmco.com/replacement-windows.php
If the original poster would like certified documentation of airflow testing let me know.
Cramming fiberglass pile into a hole is not insulating.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:26 am 
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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ALPRO wrote:
The BBB Torch award is given for Ethics in the industry. Care to Guess who has earnned that?
The GoodHousekeeping seal was also earnned by one of the above bidders....which one do you think has it?
LOL


BBB is a member funded organization and while it can be used as a good measuring stick of a company, it is ultimately funded by company dollars.

Strangely enough, you criticize the Alside warranty in another post

Thanks,..I looked on there for an hour and couldn't find it.
I noticed that "glass breakage is not covered whatsoever".....the "labor provisions" thrust the majority of thier verbage on the installer.
This brings to mind Leslie Wexner's (CEO of Limited Brands) 2,000 unit failure where he had to file suit against his Architect, the General contractor, the Sub contractor and the manufacturer in Franklin County when 2,000 of the 2,688 windows he built his home with suffered seal failure and nobody wanted to take responseability for it. The hot-potato.

Alside warranty, as it is written, would require the prudent purchaser to require the installer to submit and warrant thier own installation BEYOND one year from installation date. To me,..that is a bare bones boiler plate State Law minimum "warranty" when "one year" is listed right in it and then next column is about the pro-rated charges.
Thanks for finding that for me....I'm gonna ask people what they think about that "sample".



....yet they have also been issued the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval. Does that make them as good as Champion?


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:48 am 
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ALPRO wrote:
this complaint you interestingly left out of your retort....i wonder why?
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complain ... 16492.html

It seems, that this homeowner has listened to someone other than a reputable person with regards to how heat is transmitted. Akin to the claims about "crane board" and the R-factor spewwed. 3/8" Champion foam backer board (that says "Champion" all over it) has an R-Factor of 3.9 (also printed right under teh Champion logo across the boards)


The Champion foam backer board has an R-Value of 3.9 per inch or 3.9 per 3/8ths of an inch?

R-4 per inch is pretty common for EPS boards. I guess if it was a Polyiso board it might be an R-7.5 at the max but that still would not make it an R-3.9 at 3/8ths of an inch.

How do you account for any air gaps behind the product and lack of contact areas with the exterior walls. What is the R value in those ares?

Just wondering.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:42 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: Northern,Virginia
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To the OP. I have never heard of Larmco but I did some checking on them. The energy efficiency rating was either done by Larmco without any independent verification or it's a rebranded window made by someone other than Larmco. The glass is PPG Solarban 70 triple pane glass using Super Spacer. That's a good feature because in the area you live in Super Spacer will help reduce the possibility of condensation on the glass at the edges

The also have a Installation Master certification by AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Assoc. that's a positive sign also. It means one of their installers have completed a 2 day course that teaches correct install and insulating technicques. I am surprised they use fiberglass insulation instead of low expansion foam.

I'd ask why their windows aren't tested by NFRC (Nat'l Fenestration Rating Council) an independent testing facility whose ratings are recognised by the Dept. of Energy in their EnergyStar program.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:19 am 
Windows on Washington wrote:
ALPRO wrote:
this complaint you interestingly left out of your retort....i wonder why?
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complain ... 16492.html

It seems, that this homeowner has listened to someone other than a reputable person with regards to how heat is transmitted. Akin to the claims about "crane board" and the R-factor spewwed. 3/8" Champion foam backer board (that says "Champion" all over it) has an R-Factor of 3.9 (also printed right under teh Champion logo across the boards)


The Champion foam backer board has an R-Value of 3.9 per inch or 3.9 per 3/8ths of an inch?

R-4 per inch is pretty common for EPS boards. I guess if it was a Polyiso board it might be an R-7.5 at the max but that still would not make it an R-3.9 at 3/8ths of an inch.

How do you account for any air gaps behind the product and lack of contact areas with the exterior walls. What is the R value in those ares?

Just wondering.

3/8"=3.9 R For Champion siding underlayment. The backer is directional with a relfective foil on the house side and an additional non reflective vapor barrier on the siding side. It comes in a fanfold configuration of 10-12 contiguous sheets to minimize joints, all joints are taped where joints occour. Air gaps behind the product? Do you mean wall cavities? After the backer is applied and joints taped the siding is snugly stud nailed to validate the 200mph category 5 Hurricane wind rating of the siding. Additionally, the corners of every structure are double wrapped. There are no "non-contact "areas as would be found with a foam backed siding material that stops at the cornerposts and J-channels. On the bottom a steel starter strip is used that is firmly nailed into the sil-plate or foundation of the structure so that seals it up on the bottom. If Champion sides a structure, there is at least ONE layer of Champion backer on the entire sided area, additional layers can be added as long as trim / capping reveal don't become issues,..if the window and door trim start to disappear, we can recap the trim with vinyl clad aluminum,...which is why I get so many package jobs. If the homeowner chooses to add multiple layers of backer it is nominal to the bottom line of a siding contract. This stuff isn't expensive.

Currently, On the OSU campus there is a hundred year old duplex that has lead paint covered clappboards with asphalt asbestos shingles over that on the entire exterior with original windows to boot. This is an abatement NIGHTMARE to the new investment group that bought it, but, Champion's solutions satifies the encapsulation over abatement requirements not to mention what new windows and capping do for the maintenance and efficiency of the mechanicals (HVAC).
The application of Champion foam backer is intended as a vapor barrrier, that it has an R function and value is tertiary.

But you're correct at pointing out how efficient a product it is to have nearly an inches worth of common r-Factor for less than 1/2' worth of material thickness, but,...it is touted as a vapor barrier and rated as one as well,..which kinda addresses the fact that it is impermiable., bug proof, and mold resistant. The insulating factor is just a bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Anderson vs. Champion vs. Larmco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:12 am 
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Vapor barrier on the outside of the structure in a cold climate? That is interesting, and ultimately not recommended. Does Champion put a vapor barrier on the inside of the building as well or do they let all the moisture migrate outside? If the foam is as airtight as it is touted, how to you get the moisture through the product and out of the home?

What kind of foam is this fan fold made of? 3.9 per 3/8ths of an inch out of a foam product that is typically around R-5 per inch. Are you telling me that the foil barrier adds that much R value? Does foil work more efficiently when it is not in direct contact with the substrate you are trying to insulate? All of the installation guidelines for the radiant barriers that I have ever seen do not place it in direct contact with the heat source they are trying to block. In this case, you are trying to reflect the heat back indoors but are really creating a heat sink effect that is broken by the 3/8 inch foam.


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